Ok, to be honest, this is the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre, but I’m focusing on the Winter Garden because of how unique it is.
The Elgin is classy and amazing (and gives the Orpheum a run for its money), but the Winter Garden is a whole different situation.
With amazing scenes painted on the walls and a garden (not live plants, mind you, dead ones) hanging from the ceiling, it’s a totally unexpected thing to see if you don’t know about it. Wherever they could, the designers made human-made parts look organic and forest-y. Even the seats are green, as opposed to the red downstairs.
While it may look like a cavern, this theatre is actually on top of the Elgin, seven stories above the ground floor.
It was almost lost to history. The financial situation for those running the theatres degraded back in the 20s, and the Winter Garden was locked up until 30-ish years ago. When it was reopened they found a massive collection of Vaudeville era material, since it had been left up there untouched for decades.
Located right on Yonge Street and across from Eaton Centre, this complex is right in the heart of Toronto. Transit and walking are the best options for checking it out, especially since there’s a ton of transit going right by this spot. No need to get a car involved.
While most theatres wouldn’t think to have a tour, the Elgin and Winter Garden tres definitely warrant it. For $12 you can get a look at the amazing sight without stopping in for a play.
Ranked 10 on TripAdvisor’s things to do in Toronto, this theatre complex shows up a lot of different resource, but not many blogs or written articles (compared to other sights). That’s kind of interesting, because I don’t think of this as a well known sight. No one I know goes to Toronto for the Winter Garden or Elgin, or even mention it as a highlight. It’s on AtlasObsucra, though, and it’s a national historic site.
Oh, and its official site is here.